Friday, May 30, 2014

What a treat.................

........... Sarah was home for a few days last weekend

Since she graduated and started work on the other side of the country last year we get precious little time with her

So this weekend was extra special

She drove home on the Friday night and as he had a gig with his band on the Saturday night her boyfriend James followed her on the train on Sunday morning

They then stayed with us until their return to Essex on the Tuesday evening

Fortunately it is school half term holidays this week so we could all spend some lovely time together

Nigel is working on a long term contract for Honda in Swindon about 90 miles from home - work is work and although the commute is a pig the work is well paid and interesting.  From next week he will lodge up there for part of the week to ease the travelling.  This week the plant is closed for a scheduled shut-down so he has also been at home all week - a full house - lovely!

On Saturday the weather was absolutely vile - solid heavy rain all day

So what's a girl - or girls - to do.........

........ but quilt!

Sarah has a colleague who's expecting a baby in July

So we worked together on a quilt for her

I cut the confetti blocks



She assembled them

And then for the rest of her stay I stitched them together to make the quilt top, and then sandwiched, quilted and bound it



Et voila!!!!

All done and dusted in time for her to take back with her on the Tuesday teatime

I don't think she's necessarily a total convert - apart from anything else her life is way too busy for quilting to sneak in on it to any great extent - but it was great fun working on this project together - and she can proudly say she did some of the work when she hands it over to her friend

As for me - I have a bonus pile of opposite blocks with white triangles and batik backgrounds - another quilt in the making methinks

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thankfully................

............ the hand got better really quickly

I took my daughter's professional advice, rested it and sure enough after a couple of days it was good as new

Since then I've been sewing up a storm - lots of baby quilts all finished and done



This is the first to go to it's new home for a Slimming World friend's new baby grandson



Love the cat fabric in the centre of the sawtooth stars



A new project for a commission well under way - does anyone else have an old favourite design they revert back to time and time again - Jewel Box does it every time for me - I never tire of that 3D faceted effect where the 4 triangles meet - lovely in subtle greys and white - very in at the moment - hope it doesn't date too much - need to make 16 of these units for the centre of a SuperKing sized bed quilt - then am thinking of an appliqued floral border and then she want's a drift of electric blue butterflies floating across the quilt - that'll keep me busy for a while but she's in no real hurry for the finished article



And a quick diversion courtesy of a little distraction from Kate - never really had much of a thing for log cabin blocks but I really enjoyed making these black and white ones with bright batik centres - this will probably have a mix of a thin bright border and then a checked black and white outer border eventually

Busy busy busy...................

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Am feeling....................

................ heartily fed up

I finished school on Friday afternoon for the two weeks and a day Easter break

I have lots of projects on the go and a lovely block of time to get on with things

Three baby quilts to sandwich and complete among other things

But I have been struck down

By a very sore hand

A quick telephone consultation with my physiotherapist daughter

Physical tests carried out under instructions long distance over the phone

And a diagnosis

The pain in the base of my right thumb going down into my right wrist is apparently

De Quervain's Tendinosis

I'm struggling to write, lift the kettle or use scissors

Driving is uncomfortable and the pain has been keeping me awake at night

But worst of all

I can't hand stitch or use a rotary cutter and even holding a paperback book is painful

I'm taking anti-inflammatory tablets and using anti-inflammatory gel and reluctantly resting it

Sadly nothing seems to be having much effect yet but am guessing I will just have to give it time

Aaaarghhhh!!!

Apart from the frustration of not being able to get on with current projects the boredom is driving me nuts

I'd been making such good progress and with a lovely block of school free time I was hoping to crack on some more



The red and white quilt for Louise's best friend was completed and given to her for her birthday much to her delight



The appliqued baby quilt top is complete



And the first of the baby quilts is also finished



Mind you not without sailing extremely close to the wind on that binding - just squeaked in with a couple of inches to spare

Close or what?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Making progress...............

................ slowly but surely

I'm usually quite speedy with hand applique

I use the freezer paper on top method where you iron on your shape in freezer paper, iron it onto your fabric, cut it out with a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance, tack it onto your background and then needle turn it stitching as you go - Simple! - it's the first one I was taught, it works for me and I thoroughly enjoy doing it

But for some reason progress seems to be rather slow on this piece of work

No idea why but I'm just chugging along and enjoying the process



Here we are - two rows completed and stitched together - three more rows of flowers with the applique hearts and leaves between them to go - then I'll complete the 1" border all the way round and possibly add a deeper yellow flower fabric border onto that - finally a pink binding to complete the job

Ok I'm away to applique some more

Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's been quite a wee while..............

............. since I did any hand applique with freezer paper

I've done plenty of handwork over the past few months, but most of it has been English Paper Piecing over hexagons with my lovely Liberty Tana Lawn

Despite all the tops I showed you last time I still have to make the two alternate flavour quilts for a friend who is expecting in about six weeks.  To complete the little boy option I could have gone back to that pussy cat sawtooth star quilt I showed the start of in the last post - indeed eventually I will do

But with so many blue options already done to the flimsy stage I had a fancy for something a little more girly



When I was hunting out yellows for the blue and yellow floating rectangle quilt I came across a big piece of floral fabric with a buttery yellow background.  It has salmon and lilac flowers and mid green leaves in a pretty sprig pattern so I also dug out some Spraytime in a lilac plus a spotty green and a salmon pink with little white flowers on it

Looking through all the photos I've saved on my computer of quilts I like and wanted to save for further inspiration I found a design with simple flowers made with a four patch snipping one corner off each quarter



Add a hand appliqued circle in the centre and there you have it - a simple flower



Five of them with a lilac sashing between and you have the start of a strippy quilt



Then add a deeper sash before the next row of flowers and some more hand applique and you're ready to add the next row of flowers



I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed hand applique

Better piece some more flowers so I can do some more

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I've been...............

............. a busy old bee here at Chez Bebbs

As I said in my last post all those new babies need quilts

So a stitching I will go.............

The three babies of work colleagues are to be two little blue versions and one little pink

So the first quilt I'd started was a pink version



This cute owl fabric was the starting point



And a not quite enough of the lighter pink meant a rethink and the centre blocks sport a deeper pink to match the other owls

The second quilt is based round a blue fabric with lots of vehicles on it that I bought on the market in Den Bosch in the Netherlands last year on holiday - such a wonderful array of reasonably priced fabrics that were quite different to anything we get here in the UK



I decided to work a bigger scaled version of the ring of friendship stars I'd tried earlier this year


 Then I thought I'd like to work on something simple but striking and this easy-peasy block in blues and yellows was just the ticket for the little boy of Louise's college friends



Lots of them together with a yellow border and there we a go

Then I turned my attention back to my last colleague and her little boy


I found a piece of fabric with some sweet little blue and orange cats on and thought I'd work on a design to use it



I love sawtooth stars - they always make me smile

All well and good until I spoke to the Teaching Assistant who works with this particular teacher and she happened to mention that dinosaurs was the theme for the nursery



And I just happened to have another piece of fabric bought on the same market on holiday with little brightly coloured dinosaurs all over it

Bonnie Hunter's Star Struck pattern popped into my mind for this one



So here we are

That's four of the five quilt tops all done

The parents of the last baby have chosen not to know the gender so I shall probably make a male and a female orientated quilt and give her whichever one fits once baby arrives - who knows the cat sawtooth stars may well fit the bill for one of them

Watch this space on that

Some while ago I started work on a two colour design in purple and pale grey

As the blocks went together I decided that rather than making a full smaller lap quilt with it I would use it to make a runner for the bottom of our bed as our bedroom is purple



Nigel is holding it up folded in half so you can see how wide it will be



And last but not least I finished the top in red and white that I was making for Louise's best friend's birthday next month

Sandwiching this will have to be my next job as her birthday is only a couple of weeks away

Busy busy busy!!!!!

Saturday, March 01, 2014

There's going to be ....................

................... a real glut of little feet to patter around in the vicinity this year

None of them at Chez Bebbs I might add

However I have three more colleagues who are either expecting a new addition or are married to someone who is - one little boy and two others yet to be determined - all three are due in July some time

One of Louise's primary school friends and his girlfriend are also expecting a little boy - at 17 years old they are so young and it was a complete accident but one that they are both determined to make the very best of and give their son the very best start they possibly can when he arrives in May - if anyone deserves a quilt I think they do

And finally one of the girls at my Slimming World group is also expecting in about 9 weeks - they have decided to leave the gender a surprise until baby arrives so this will definitely need a neutral colour scheme

So.............

Baby Quilts galore to get busy on




But here's one I made earlier

The recipient arrived before Christmas but I have failed miserably to pass on his present until this last week



I didn't know until he was born what flavour he would be - so went for something neutral - just love these little prams in the middle of the saw-tooth stars

Better late than never

Ok back to the fabric face to crack on with more baby gifts as I've plenty to be getting on with